Pakistan warns against preconditions for direct dialogue
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): As four-way talks got under way in Islamabad, a senior Pakistani diplomat warned against pre-conditions for the resumption of Afghan peace negotiations.
"This, in our view, would be counter-productive," Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said while opening the Quadrilateral Coordination Committee (QCC) meeting aimed at reviving the peace process.
He added: "The distinction between reconcilable and irreconcilable (Taliban) elements can follow once avenues for bringing them to the negotiating table have been exhausted."
The meeting was aimed at outlining efficient procedures that could provide a basis for smooth functioning of the group, the advisor said, stressing the need for creating conditions to convince the Taliban to pursue political goals.
Sequencing actions and measures appropriately would pave the ground for direct dialogue, he believed, calling for confidence-building measures to encourage rebel factions to return to the negotiating table
“A realistic and flexible roadmap which broadly defines steps and phases, but avoids unrealistic targets and deadlines, is important for charting the course of action,” Aziz noted.
Afghanistan is represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Pakistan by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry at the meeting, which is also being attended by US and Chinese diplomats.
Given the group’s sensitive nature of work and acknowledging the importance of positive public messaging, the Taliban should be kept away from media, Aziz proposed.
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